HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – After the announcement of the $56 million settlement agreement for those impacted by the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home tragedy, 22News takes a closer look at what’s being done for the families of victims and survivors.
The plan for the settlement will be filed next Friday with an additional hearing if needed for June 6th but this is only one part of the response following the outbreak.
Westfield Senator John Velis told 22News, “The governor will send us a supplemental budget that we as a legislature will have to vote on.”
Velis said he anticipates the vote on the settlement budget to happen sometime after senate budget talks, as soon as two weeks from now. However, that’s not the only movement on Beacon Hill. Both the House and Senate have passed legislation aimed at clarifying and adding transparency to the chain of command for the Soldiers’ Homes.
Senator Velis is on that conference committee, “I think the House did some good things, I think we did some good things and I anticipate there will be some movement on that also after the budget.”
22News received this statement from the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition, which represents the veterans and family members:
“The Senate version of proposed governance reforms would be a major improvement with a very clear chain of command. There needs to be no doubt who is in charge and who is held accountable for the care of the Veterans.”Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition
The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home will see some physical changes as well with construction starting soon.
“This summer it starts. I can’t wait for that grand opening if you will, or that ribbon cutting to sort of launch the construction, so it’s right according to schedule,” said Velis.
One thing Senator Velis said that really needs to be looked into is staffing and making sure there are enough healthcare workers at the ready.